Execs In The Know- A Global Network of Customer Experience Professionals

Tag Archives: Artificial Intelligence

Execs In The Know & COPC Inc. Publish 2017 Corporate Edition in Customer Experience Management Benchmark Series

Findings Show That Only About One-Third of Respondents Felt Their Company Offered Support in All The Channels Their Customers Want to Use — A Slight Increase Over 2016 Results.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – April 3, 2018 – Advocates for customer experience professionals, Execs In The Know and COPC Inc., have announced the release of the 2017 Corporate Edition of the Customer Experience Management Benchmark (CXMB) Series. The 11th volume in the series, titled The CX Journey: Strategic and Operational Insights, provides an understanding of the current CX landscape. Specific areas of expanded exploration include channel consistency, quality programs, and CX priorities for corporate professionals. Traditional Care (phone, email, and in-person), Interactive Care (online/video chat, FAQ, and self-help), Social Media Care (Twitter, Facebook, forums, etc.), and Mobile Care (apps, text/SMS, and mobile chat) are all explored.

Key Insights from the 2017 Corporate Survey:

– Only 50% of respondents answered “Yes” when asked, “Is your company’s leadership fully committed to a customer-first strategy?”

– Thirty-four percent of respondents didn’t believe their company had a good understanding of which channels their customers preferred, nor how these preferences differed from current channel offerings.

– Interest and investment in chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) exploded in 2017, with more than a threefold increase in the percentage of brands naming chatbots and AI as the technology of most interest and/or investment.

– Only 14% of respondents felt their brands were doing a good job of providing a consistent customer experience across channels and solutions, while only half of brands (51%) had any initiatives to create greater consistency.

The CXMB Series is a resource for customer care professionals, looking to enhance their customer care program, improve brand opinion, and drive customer satisfaction. Brands such as Marriott, Blue Rock Energy, The Mine, The Home Depot, LinkedIn, Hyatt, Desjardins, CIBC, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., and more participated in this year’s survey. Continue reading

How We Built the Wine Bot Margot for Lidl

The following is a guest blog by Tobias Goebel, Director of Emerging Technologies at Aspect. For more information on Aspect, visit their website. 

It was mid-July 2017 when I got an email from a sales colleague about a potential chatbot opportunity with a short window to respond. The prospective customer was the UK branch of supermarket chain Lidl. The Lidl digital marketing director and his team had already looked at a variety of vendors and were ready to make a selection, but they were still open to listening to us. It was a long shot, we thought, but we still wanted to give it our best effort.

Fast forward 5 months, and we’re seeing tweets like this from the Daily Mail and The Sun:

Wow, what had happened? Well, a fantastic team effort is what had happened.

Winning Team Lidl Over

Lidl saw value in:

– our expertise around all things Customer Experience

– our unique approach to Natural Language Understanding with support for many languages

– our “cloud clout” and the resulting time-to-market

– our design-once-deploy-anywhere framework that allows taking one bot and deploying it on channels like FB Messenger, SMS, Amazon Echo, IVR, etc. with minimal additional effort

– our experience in building and hosting enterprise-grade, transactional customer self-service solutions that integrate into the larger marketing and contact center ecosystem of a multi-national corporation, including the ability to expand into eCommerce

From our Press Release: https://www.aspect.com/company/news/press-releases/lidl-uk-launches-ai-wine-chatbot-to-uk-customers-with-aspect-software

How does a conversation with Margot look like? Have a look here:

When implementing the application, we decided to work with one of our long-time application development partners, 2-steps-ahead, who has been building voicebots on our IVR and chatbot platform, Aspect CXP™, for over a decade. Internally, we had all of the right people in place and ready to take on this project: Aspect Professional Services provided the project management and architectural support, R&D provided support by our on-staff linguists. With the combined forces of our team and 2-steps-ahead we were ready to embark on the buildout of the solution. Continue reading

The Top 10 Customer Experience Trends in 2018

The following is a guest blog from Lauren Kindzierski, HGS Vice President, Solutions and Capabilities. For more information on HGS, visit their website.

The customer service industry will experience the biggest digital shift yet in 2018, as customer experience (CX) brand leaders seek to expand channels, leverage analytics, adopt automation, and integrate the front office with back office operations. CX pioneers should prepare for a surge in the adoption of disrupter technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), digital self-service, and bot tools, as well as the need to hire data scientists to improve business intelligence and better enable consumers to get the right answer fast. These digital capabilities will help some businesses, with the right unified engagement strategy and delivery expertise, to unlock a treasure trove of transformational potential for optimizing customer experiencebalancing the cost of service with frictionless engagement. In this report, we will cover those digital innovation and customer engagement operational trends that will assist CX leaders in planning their transformation projects in 2018-19. (Click here to view a webinar from January 10 on this same topic.)

1. Digital channels finally overtake voice.

We will finally witness the tipping point where digital channels—email, chat, social, text, messaging—overtake voice in the contact center. Mobile driven interaction management —in-app messaging, chat, SMS, and social—have become foundational components of an omnichannel strategy. According to Dimension Data’s global contact center benchmarking report, digital interactions accounted for over 42% of all interactions taking place inside the contact center in the beginning of 2017. At that current rate, digital was expected to overtake voice in 2018. It’s already happening with some of our clients. One consumer packaged goods client being serviced out of the UK receives 71% of all customer interactions from digital channels, and only 29% from voice. Included in these statistics are messaging via WhatsApp, which currently accounts for approximately 10% of the client’s volume. Instant communication will become the standard for exceptional customer service in 2018. Messaging is the new channel of choice, according to Twilio research, which states 89% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with a business. There are multiple benefits to messaging such as the ability to send photos or videos between agents and customers, faster and more timely communications, and the ability to stop, start, and continue with the conversation at the customer’s convenience.

2. Investments in advanced analytics tools drive customer experience transformation.

Advanced data analytics tools can help businesses uncover business-critical insights and gain a competitive edge. According to Gartner, “By 2018 50% of agent interactions will be influenced by real-time analytics.” As customer experience analytics matures, it is becoming increasingly predictive and focused on personalization. A sophisticated data analytics tool can make predictions, or generate recommendations based on information gathered, thus giving contact center agents and bots more background and context on each individual customer they are servicing. In addition, analytics plays a significant role in increasing productivity. As one case in point, speech analytics can detect non-value adds, such as long conversational pauses or points in the conversation when the customer has to repeat responses. Continue reading

Execs In The Know Artificial Intelligence Briefings to Make Four Stops in 2018

CX Professionals to Join Together for a Candid Discussion on Artificial Intelligence for Customer Service

PHOENIX, AZ. – (February 12, 2018) – Community of customer experience leaders, Execs In The Know, have announced the details for four Artificial Intelligence (AI) Briefings they will host in 2018. The Execs In The Know AI Briefings will make stops in Boston, MA; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; and Seattle, WA, over the course of the year.

Here are the official dates and locations:

– Boston, MA: February 13, 2018

– Atlanta, GA: May 3, 2018

– Chicago, IL: August 16, 2018

– Seattle, WA: October 18, 2018

Each event is an opportunity to discuss how AI is impacting service strategies, with other care leaders that are looking to maximize their strategy or implement it. Each day will feature a candid Q&A session with a panel of AI Solution Providers, followed by a Corporate only discussion. There will also be an Innovations Lab, allowing attendees to see live applications of how AI is working to improve CX, in different channels and processes, with various solution providers. Networking, as well as discussion around challenges experienced, solutions, best practices, or innovations as it pertains to AI for customer service, will also be valuable takeaways.

To learn more about these events and how to register, visit the events section of the Execs In The Know website:  https://www.execsintheknow.com/events/.

About Execs In The Know

Execs In The Know is a global community of customer experience professionals, from various industry verticals, all focused on the same thing – excellence in customer service and experience. Execs In The Know gives brands a platform to share and gain insights, benchmark their brand, stay on top of the latest trends in CX, and create lasting relationships with their peers – “Leaders Learning From Leaders.”

Execs In The Know holds their national event – Customer Response Summit – twice a year (in the Spring and Fall), giving executives the opportunity to connect face-to-face. They also hold a number of other live regional events throughout the year including Subject Matter Briefings (on topics like social media, AI, SMS, outsourcing, etc.), Lunch & Learns, Workshops, and EITK Dinners. The community is able to stay engaged long after the events come to an end through industry content and thought leadership, webinars, reports, and various social communities.

Learn more at www.execsintheknow.com.

Media Contact:

Alyssa Pitura
info@execsintheknow.com

Exploring Artificial Intelligence for Customer Service at San Francisco Briefing

CX Professionals to join together for a candid discussion on AI, December 4-5, 2017.

PHOENIX, AZ. – (November 2, 2017) – Community of customer service executives, Execs In The Know, have announced their next event for customer experience leaders. The Execs In The Know AI Briefing will take place December 4th-5th, 2017, in San Francisco, CA. The day and a half session is an opportunity to discuss how AI is impacting service strategies, with other care leaders that are looking to maximize their strategy or implement it.

On day one of the AI event, held at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, attendees will have the chance to visit the Execs In The Know AI Innovations Lab, to see live applications of how AI is working to improve CX in different channels and processes, with various solutions providers.

Day two of the event will be held at Square Headquarters. Square helps millions of sellers run their business – from secure credit card processing to point of sale solutions. The day will start with “An Overview of AI Trends for Customer Service With Square” from Matt Capers, Data Science Lead at Square. The rest of the day will center on candid discussion with AI Providers to explore the challenges and opportunities that face corporations today, in using AI for customer service, as well as a separate discussion with just the Corporate Brands in the room about challenges experienced, solutions, or innovations, as it pertains to AI for customer service.

“The future is predictive and personalized support, powered by artificial intelligence, which balances both technical and human solutions to customer success. At Square, our goal is to be always available, but rarely needed, and we are constantly working to provide fast, efficient (and ultimately human) answers to our sellers’ questions,” said Nate Rosenthal, Head of Customer Support at Square and current member of the Execs In The Know Corporate Advisory Board. “It’s exciting to see artificial intelligence, predictive support, and automation gaining traction throughout the industry, and I look forward to diving deeper into their potential during the Execs In The Know AI Briefing.”

To learn more about the event, download the AI Briefing agenda  or visit the event website .

About Execs In The Know

For over 15 years, Execs In The Know has built a reputation of excellence in the Customer Management Industry and a worldwide community of over 50,000 Customer Experience Professionals, dedicated to enhancing the customer service industry. Execs In The Know connects people to engaging industry content, thought leadership, current trends, peer-to-peer collaboration, networking, and industry employment opportunities. Their largest event, Customer Response Summit, takes place twice a year, uniting executives from many of today’s leading brands, to create impactful connections and share actionable insights.

Learn more at www.execsintheknow.com.

Media Contact:

Alyssa Pitura
info@execsintheknow.com

Integrating Bots and Brains for Optimized CX

The following is a guest post from HGS. For more information about HGS, visit their website

For those who worry that technology is doing irreparable harm to our day-to-day communication, here’s some good news. The art of conversation is not lost, it’s just evolving. In the customer experience call center world, we’re on the front lines of business to consumer communication disrupters, starting with digital channels like a company website and chat, to SMS-text, social media, advancing natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive learning, automation, and analytics. These tools bring tremendous opportunity to win and retain customers with better CX.

combining bots and brains

According to Gartner, 89% of companies are competing on CX, yet less than 10% of consumers think service from the call center is good. Today’s businesses need to improve service, be easier to do business with and open 24X7, and be consistent across multiple channels and digital devices with personalized interactions, empathy, and insight. Without this optimized service, brands risk becoming irrelevant to today’s customers, who show no loyalty. A Unified Customer Experience Strategy® brings a balance that leverages the latest digital innovation, while also cost-effectively improving service through conversations that make emotional connections with customers. This means understanding these three drivers: 

1) Customers’ expectations of service competence are higher every day, with world-class companies like Amazon and Apple setting an excellence standard that is leading with self-service and integrating human expertise when it adds value. Households have adopted digital and AI innovation as a way of life. Think “Hello Siri.” Starting your conversation with a bot is rapidly becoming the new norm. According to a recent Google study conducted by Northstar Research, more than half of U.S. teens and 41% of U.S. adults use voice search on a daily basis. A consistent customer experience that bridges channels is extremely important for Generation C—a demographic of connected customers  that represents today’s  buyer attitude and mindset. Bots, increasingly, provide a strong sense of reliability, consistency, and ease of use, which are critical to meet the demand for a unified customer experience strategy.

Continue reading